Tag Archives: Erwin Mortier

Stammered Songbook by Erwin Mortier

Stammered Songbook Erwin MortierI’ve been reading more non-fiction and more translated fiction this year but not very much translated non-fiction. After reading Flemish author Erwin’ Mortier’s ‘While the Gods Were Sleeping‘ earlier this year which was shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, I got hold of a copy of ‘Stammered Songbook: A Mother’s Book of Hours’ which is Mortier’s personal memoir documenting his mother’s diagnosis, decline and death from Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 65. Originally published in 2011, it has recently been translated from Dutch into English for the first time by Paul Vincent and has been longlisted for the Green Carnation Prize this week which celebrates LGBT writing.

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The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize Shortlist 2015

Independent Foreign Fiction PrizeThe official shortlist for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize was announced this week:

We can also reveal our shadow jury shortlist:

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While the Gods Were Sleeping by Erwin Mortier and The Last Lover by Can Xue

While the Gods Were Sleeping‘While the Gods Were Sleeping’ by Erwin Mortier and translated from the Dutch by Paul Vincent tells the story of Helena Demont, a very elderly woman approaching her hundredth birthday who is reflecting on her experiences as a young woman living in Belgium at the start of the First World War. The story explores Helena’s relationships with her French mother, Belgian father, brother Edgard and her British husband Matthew with whom she has a daughter. Continue reading

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